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Biostratigraphy of the Massospondylus assemblage zone (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa

P. A. Viglietti, Blair W. McPhee, Emese M. Bordy, L. Sciscio, P. M. Barrett, Roger B. J. Benson, S. Wills, Kimi E. J. Chapelle, Kathleen N. Dollman, C. Mdekazi and Jonah N. Choiniere
Biostratigraphy of the Massospondylus assemblage zone (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa (in Tetrapod biozonation the Karoo Supergroup, Roger M. H. Smith (editor), Bruce S. Rubidge (editor) and Michael O. Day (editor))
South African Journal of Geology (June 2020) 123 (2): 249-262


The Massospondylus Assemblage Zone is the youngest tetrapod biozone in the Karoo Basin (upper Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup) and records one of the oldest dinosaur dominated ecosystems in southern Gondwana. Recent qualitative and quantitative investigations into the biostratigraphy of the lower and upper Elliot formations (lEF, uEF) and Clarens Formation in the main Karoo Basin resulted in the first biostratigraphic review of this stratigraphic interval in nearly four decades, allowing us to introduce a new biostratigraphic scheme, the Massospondylus Assemblage Zone (MAZ). The MAZ expands upon the Massospondylus Range Zone by including the crocodylomorph Protosuchus haughtoni and the ornithischian Lesothosaurus diagnosticus as two co-occurring index taxa alongside the main index taxon, the sauropodomorph Massospondylus carinatus. With a maximum thickness of approximately 320 m in the southeastern portion of the basin, our new biozone is contained within the uEF and Clarens formations (upper Stormberg Group), however, based on vertebrate ichnofossils evidence, it may potentially extend into the sedimentary units of the lowermost Drakensberg Group. We do not propose any further subdivisions, and do not consider the Tritylodon Acme Zone (TAZ) as a temporal biostratigraphic marker within the MAZ. The MAZ is currently accepted to range in age between the Hettangian and Pliensbachian, however a faunal turnover, which observes an increase in the diversity of dinosaur clades, crocodylomorph, and mammaliaform taxa in the lower uEF, could reflect effects of the end-Triassic extinction event (ETE).

ISSN: 1012-0750
EISSN: 1996-8590
Serial Title: South African Journal of Geology
Serial Volume: 123
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Biostratigraphy of the Massospondylus assemblage zone (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa
Title: Tetrapod biozonation the Karoo Supergroup
Author(s): Viglietti, P. A.McPhee, Blair W.Bordy, Emese M.Sciscio, L.Barrett, P. M.Benson, Roger B. J.Wills, S.Chapelle, Kimi E. J.Dollman, Kathleen N.Mdekazi, C.Choiniere, Jonah N.
Author(s): Smith, Roger M. H.editor
Author(s): Rubidge, Bruce S.editor
Author(s): Day, Michael O.editor
Affiliation: Field Museum of Natural History, Negaunee Integrative Research Center, Chicago, IL, United States
Affiliation: University of the Witswatersrand, Evolutionary Studies Institute, Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 249-262
Published: 202006
Text Language: English
Publisher: Bureau for Scientific Publications, Pretoria, South Africa
References: 145
Accession Number: 2020-062946
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
S31°00'00" - S29°00'00", E24°00'00" - E26°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidade de Sao Paulo, BRA, BrazilUniversity of Cape Town, ZAF, South AfricaUniversity of Johannesburg, ZAF, South AfricaNatural History Museum, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Oxford, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of the Witwatersrand, ZAF, South Africa
Country of Publication: South Africa
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Geological Society of South Africa. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202018
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